by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
You can easily argue that Starlin Castro would have carried the risk of regression even if he had stayed in New York. Being sent to Miami, however, as part of the Giancarlo Stanton trade certain!y has an impact on the outlook. First let’s look at the numbers from last season:
443 At Bats
.300 Batting Average (133 Hits)
16 Home Runs
2 Stolen Bases
.338 On Base Percentage
.454 Slugging Percentage
.347 Batting Average on Balls in Play
Obviously he missed some time, but his 16.2% HR/FB was right in line with his 15.0% mark in 2016 (when he hit 21 HR). Can he replicate those marks away from New York? Throw in the BABIP and its easy to see why anyone would be skeptical. Just how worried should we be though?
Over the past two years he has hit 25 of his 37 HR at Yankee Stadium. Its no secret that it is a much more hitter friendly ballpark, with Miami’s park yielding 2.09 HR/game (nearly a full home run less than Yankee Stadium, which allowed 3.00 HR/game). Just how far would that number drop if it weren’t for Stanton calling the park home as well?
Less power would obviously have a negative impact on his batting average, but that is not the only concern. On the surface you see that there was luck behind the number, especially with a somewhat pedestrian 20.1% line drive rate. Then you have a poor approach, which has led to few walks (4.9%) and the potential for his strikeout rate (19.7%) to rise:
- O-Swing% – 34.2%
- SwStr% – 11.0%
The SwStr% specifically has risen with his spike in power, and you have to wonder if he could compensate for his new surroundings by trying to hit the ball in the air more often. Keep in mind he posted a 51.8% groundball rate last season (49.7% for his career). With his pure power already in question, more fly balls likely won’t lead to more home runs. In fact more fly balls will likely lead to a further drop in his BABIP.
Throw in little SB potential and a worse lineup around him and exactly what are we buying?
The power will likely regress…
The average will likely regress…
Those two “facts” plus a significantly worse supporting cast is going to lead to issues with his counting stats…
There appears to be little reason to get excited. Maybe a subsequent trade will help, but unless he finds himself in another favorable home ballpark the risk will outweigh the potential reward.
Sources – Fangraphs, ESPN
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